Tomintoul celebrates 173-not-out as over 2000 flock to games

One of the longest running annual celebrations in Scotland drew over 2000 people to Tomintoul at the weekend for the town’s 173rd Highland Games.

Many of the visitors had travelled from far and wide – including some from Canada and South Korea – bolstering the local community to four times its normal size.

Hot, muggy and wet conditions did nothing to halt the traditional day of music, dancing and a few more unusual contests including pillow fighting and barrel racing.

Patricia Grant, who is the event secretary for the games, said: “We really had a great day considering that the weather was breaking all around us.

“It was however really quite kind to us and so we had some superb competitions held outside. We are not the biggest games but we always manage to attract good competitors including some of the best ‘heavies’ in Scotland.”

Ms Grant’s assistant, Jenny Herschell, added that with only 500 people living in the are it took exceptional involvement from the local community to organise the games.

“As in every year there were scores of local people doing everything from gate duties to looking after the car parking,” she said, adding: “The games have a great reputation – while it’s a serious event it is also very traditional and not commercial.

“I think visitors like that – I know for a fact that even people involved with other Highland Games enjoy coming to Tomintoul.”

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